World Ocean Day is a great time to raise awareness about the importance of preserving our oceans as well as stop, reflect and appreciate the beauty that lies within. On this Ocean Day, take a look at these movies and documentaries that highlight the wonders of the deep blue oceans while shining a light on the dangers that exist down under.
Like any ocean thriller movie, Open Water is a survival thriller meant only for the brave-hearted and not aspiring divers! Loosely based on the real-life story of divers Tom and Eileen Lonergan, Open Waters centres on a married couple, Susan and Daniel who decide to take a scuba diving vacation in Queensland, Australia. The duo join a group scuba dive on their second day but decide to briefly separate from the group whilst underwater. The rest of the group heads back on the boat where an (incorrect) headcount is taken leaving Daniel and Susan stranded in shark-infested waters 20 miles offshore.
Watch online on MX Player
Another thriller survivor story, Sanctum was inspired by the movie’s screenwriter, Andrew Wright’s own survival story. Back in 1988, Wright led a cave diving expedition beneath Australia’s Nullarbor Plain which resulted in a near-death experience. Produced by James Cameron, Sanctum follows Master Diver Frank Masters who leads a group of researchers in an underwater cave exploration site in Papua New Guinea. All seems well and good until a cyclone storm at sea begins to flood the cave underwater. This forces the divers to go deeper into an unmapped, underground network of caves. With no exit plan in motion, the divers are forced to travel through the caves and find a way out before it’s too late.
Watch online on Apple TV
The concept of aliens has been consistently limited to outer space. But what if they were actually closer to home? The ocean is wider and deeper than one can fathom and much of life underwater still remains a mystery. So why not consider the possibility of aliens living deep underwater rather than far away in outer space? James Cameron’s The Abyss like most of his movies is a treat from start to end. After a nuclear submarine sinks near a massive underwater trench, a U.S. SEAL team is sent to salvage it. However, upon reaching the site of the sinking, the team encounters an unexpected mystical entity, trapping them to the depths and cutting off all communication with the outside world.
Watch online on Apple TV
The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou
A brilliant depiction of Wes Anderson’s whacky storytelling, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou is a quirky nautical adventure comedy that pays tribute to French diving pioneer Jacques Cousteau. Fictional Oceanographer, Captain Steve Zissou sets out to get his revenge on a mythical jaguar shark that killed his partner and best friend. Like any Wes Anderson film, this movie too is filled with colourful depictions, offbeat characters and plenty of humour. The movie has an all-star cast with Bill Murray, Owen Wilson, Willem Dafoe, Cate Blanchett, Anjelica Houston, Jeff Goldblum, and Noah Baumbach.
Watch online on Disney+ Hostar
A Plastic Ocean
Marine pollution is one of those things most people think about every now and then, but never fully comply with. A Plastic Ocean is one of those movies that forces viewers to really look at and understand the ripple effects of marine pollution. Led by explorers Craig Leeson and Tanya Streeter, the documentary was shot between the years 2012 and 2016; it explores different water bodies in over 20 locations across the world. Leeson and Streeter paired with cetacean expert Dr Lindsay Porter and microplastic expert Dr Bonnie Monteleone to study the failing state of the oceans by collecting evidence on the causes and consequences of plastic pollution, and providing solutions urging viewers to take action.
Watch on YouTube
Our coral reefs have faced some of the biggest and most devasting effects of marine pollution, causing many of them to vanish at unprecedented rates. Chasing Coral, directed by Jeff Orlowski, features over 500 hours of underwater film featuring a team of dedicated divers, photographers, and scientists exploring the underwater and illustrating the impacts of pollution on corals particularly through coral bleaching activities which was proved by coral bleaching samples collected by volunteers from over 30 different countries. The success of the movie led the team to form a “Chasing Coral Campaign” that looks to sustain and help coral reefs bloom.
Watch online on Netflix
An Emmy award-winning documentary, Mission Blue follows Dr Sylvia Earle, a marine biologist and environmentalist, on a fascinating mission to protect the world’s oceans. The documentary features Dr Earle as the narrator along with renowned marine biologist Barbara Block touring locations such as Bermuda, Ecuador, and the United States to highlight some of the biggest problems affecting oceans including pollution, overfishing and climate change. Through the documentary, Dr Earle appeals to the people highlighting the urgent need to protect and preserve the oceans as well as the creatures that call it home.
Watch online on Netflix
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